Afghanistan's New Dark Age
Ever since our flight from Kabul the Biden administration has attempted to portray the Taliban as a new, changed entity. This is Taliban 2.0. Kinder. Gentler. Businesslike.
Unfortunately, as with most pronouncements by this administration, all of this is a lie. The Taliban have not changed. They paused momentarily in imposing their barbaric measures on the populace in order to take advantage of the weakness of the West. Now that they believe the world is watching other horrors, they have begun to impose the measures that will create their bizarre 6th-century vision of hell.
We were told the Taliban would allow girls to return to high school. This is untrue. Girls attempting to return to high school have been turned away. The schools remain closed. For what the Taliban has in mind no female will henceforth need any education.
The Taliban’s Department of Virtue Promotion has instructed university students that they cannot enter school with smartphones. Apparently, Sharia law forbids it. Male and female students both remain on college campuses for now but are segregated by sex. One assumes that this is a temporary measure and that it will only be a matter of time until women are told to leave school and return to their homes.
Henceforth all amusement parks in Afghanistan will also be segregated by gender. This will be accomplished by designating certain days as all-male and certain other days as all-female.
The Taliban's Ministry of Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice on March 27 ordered that all Kabul venues would be opened to women and girls from Sunday through Tuesday and to boys and men Wednesday through Saturday. There are no days on which families can attend as a unit.
The Taliban recently informed airlines in Afghanistan that women could not fly alone. They must be accompanied by a male chaperone on all flights. Apparently, this is also based on Sharia law, which of course is based on the Koran. No word on how a document written 1500 years ago included restrictions on air travel.
The new ban on air travel by unaccompanied women follows a ban imposed months ago that prevents women from traveling more than 45 miles from their homes without male relatives. A number of other prohibitions concerning women, cars, and drivers have also been imposed.
Only veiled women can ride in cars. Cars must stop at prayer time so their occupants can perform prayer. Drivers may not play music in cars.
Music has also been prohibited in public places. This is because according to the Taliban Islam forbids music. There are any number of predominately Muslim cultures where music and dance have played a huge role for centuries. The Taliban apparently have decided differently.
Men are now forbidden to shave. Men without beards are banned from government jobs under the Taliban. This too apparently is somewhere in the Koran.
These are not discreet actions. The Taliban is methodically plunging Afghanistan back into the 6th century. The cutting edge of these restrictions is in those targeting women.
The Taliban do not just consider women second-class citizens. They consider women unclean, impure, and evil. When they are done the Taliban will have effectively condemned women to lives of house arrest under the full control of male relatives who can do with them what they will.
Women will be forbidden to leave the house without a male escort. Women will be covered from head to toe at all times outside the home. Women will be kept deliberately ignorant and isolated.
These are the same kinds of measures used by slave owners to keep slaves under control. Slaves in the American South were denied the right to education. They were forbidden to circulate freely. They were not allowed to congregate in large groups or to communicate over long distances.
This is a system of oppression. All of these measures are designed to keep women isolated, ignorant, and incapable of banding together to form a resistance.
Our nation, which prides itself on freedom, ought to be fighting all of this. We ought to be condemning – in the strongest possible terms – the subjugation of at least half of the population of Afghanistan. We are not.
In the wake of the Taliban’s decision to shut down girls’ schools, the Department of State took the dramatic step of saying it was canceling “some” of its planned meetings with the Taliban in Doha. One assumes the Taliban were shaken by this announcement that we might not talk to them again for a while.
The real question posed by the State Department’s announcement of course is – why are we talking to the Taliban at all? They are not only plunging their nation into the abyss, but they are also building an army to spread jihad, climbing into bed with Communist China, and harboring terrorists who are already destabilizing Pakistan.
Never mind. The important thing is to hold on to the fiction that our abandonment of Afghanistan is not really such a big deal. Afghanistan may be entering a new dark age, but don’t expect the Biden administration to admit that anytime soon.